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The home page for Buenos Aires travel tips at this site is: [l:travel/buenos-aires].
What a city!
Local cheeses, all purchased from Montréal. Related: the [l:albums/travel/montreal/poutine Poutine!] pages contain information about fresh cheese curds. Cheese Shops
Summer Jazz Festival. More than just jazz. More details at: [l:travel/montreal/montreal-jazz-festival]
A dish unique to Quebec. Fries, Gravy, and fresh Cheddar Cheese Curds (fromage en grains) make poutine! An exclamation point seems necessary for this dish. The process of making cheese from milk goes through a step that results in curds. These are small chunks of solid cheese that are not yet pressed into molds for the final aging process. Fresh cheese curds only last a day or two, therefore are only available in places where a lot of cheese is manufactured. Cheddar cheese curds are available widely in Montreal, and it is the key ingredient of poutine. Fresh cheese curds are easy to recognize - they will make a squeaking sound when you eat them. From fast food joints to celebrated chefs, there is no shortage of places to get poutine in Montreal. [l:http://www.montrealpoutine.com/ Montreal Poutine] has good information on all poutine places in that city. Poutine fries should at least start crispy, and have sufficient amount of gravy to smother the fries. The run-down looking Poutine Lafleur has pretty good poutine. This is the standalone place on Rue Wellington and not the chain of the same name. Maamm Bolduc was not as good - not enough gravy or cheese - but many consider it one of the best, so worth checking out. Many places that claim to be famous, or are very old diners that should probably have good poutine, do not. French fries may be limp and not crisp, sauce may be tasteless, and they dish may not be warm enough. So for a short visit, just try the known-to-be-good places, do not experiment. La Cantine, closed in 2012. This bistro on Mont Royal had excellent poutine, in very nice surroundings. The fries stay nice and crispy to the last bite. There is a photo provided below, which now serves as a memory only! Surprisingly, some fast food joints have good poutine too - such as La Belle Province. And Frite Alors! has amazing fries, and good poutine too.
Great good, awesome ambiance. Near Jean Talon metro station.
Excellent middle-eastern grocery store - large selection of fruits, ready-made food, feta cheeses, tzatziki, and sweets. They now have a home page: [l:http://www.adonisproducts.com/pages/accueil_en.asp adonisproducts.com] DISCLAIMER: please note that this web page has no association with the Marché Adonis business. And this site is not in Quebec, so English readers are the majority here, and French may not be understood by most. Thank you!
The Jean-Talon market is a couple of blocks east of the intersection of Jean-Talon and St-Laurent, near the the Jean-Talon metro station. Newly refurbished in 2005, visit this place for fresh fruit, groceries, cheeses, bread, fish, desserts. Great food available in the market itself, additionally, surrounding area is Little Italy, which has many good restaurants.
Absolutely the most addictive food in the world, the best smoked-meat in the world.
Montreal subway and bus system. External link: [l:http://metro.jaygees.net/english/index.html Pictures of the Stations of the Montreal Subway] by Julien Rosselet, 2005.
Discover a variety of Chinese (and Korean, etc) food on Main St, Flushing - last stop on the #7 Subway line. This is the second Chinatown in NYC, probably because downtown NYC was not big enough to hold all these new restaurants. Good references: [l:http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2008/07/29/dining/20080730_FLUSHING_INTERACTIVE.html NYTimes Flushing Interactive] graphic which also has a nice printout to take when visiting, and which links to the [l:http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/30/dining/30flushing.html main article], which also has more tips from the readers in the article's comments section. A later article describes [l:http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/10/dining/10chine.html Dongbei cai, or the food of the Northeast], the area was known earlier as Manchuria. The absolutely great things in this area: Sichuan food - spicy-hot with tongue-numbing Sichuan pepper ma-la experience, awesome lamb burgers with cumin and green chilies (in the Golden Mall, a collection of fast food restaurants in the basement off Main St - details in the NYT article), peking duck in snack form on a small pancake (fantastic Peking Duck, and sold at a window in a restaurant on the street), all sorts of dumplings, and the street stalls with $1 skewers of grilled spiced-meat ("Mongolian Barbecue?"). Finish off with bubble tea. And if you want to avoid eating out on the street, visit the Food Court in the Flushing Mall which has most of the similar foods. Best items here? 1. [l:http://xianfoods.com/ Xi'an Famous Foods] at 41-28 Main St Golden Mall Booth #36. It is confusing to find, enter the basement mall, take the left, cross two/three food booths, take a right, and this place on the left, probably the second/third store on the left. Just follow your nose and look for the sandwiches - their web site has pictures of their food. [Sep 2009] They are now in multiple places in Downtown Manhattan too! Those are easier to get to, still, worth visiting the original location to get a true Chinatown experience and better food (I think). NYT says: "His lamb stew is infused with fresh green chilies and cumin: stuffed into hot, griddled bread rolls, it makes the best sandwich in Flushing." ... "In the food court of the Golden Mall — a grand-sounding name for a basement warren of folding tables — is a man who goes by the name Shi Liangpi". Also good here: "his signature dish - liangpi, a dish of cold noodles in a sauce that hits every possible flavor category (sweet, tangy, savory, herbal, nutty and dozens of others)... in addition to four different sauces, and mountains of bean sprouts, slivered cucumbers and sprigs of cilantro. " My best choices: "N1" - Spicy Cumin Lamb Hand-Ripped Noodles (around $6), and "B2" Spicy Cumin Lamb Burger (around $3). [Prices as of Nov 2011, Flushing location.] Pictures: [l:albums/travel/new-york/flushings-chinatown/xian-famous-foods-41-28-main-st] and the new sit-down restaurant [l:albums/travel/new-york/flushings-chinatown/biang-restaurant-41-10-main-st]. 2. The Peking Duck from the street window at the Corner 28 restaurant, picture present below. 3. The unassuming Spicy & Tasty restaurant at 39 07 Prince Street, just a block or two up from the Main St Subway station. Good Sichuan food - nice and spicy. 4. New World Mall at 40-21 Main St, and another entrance next to Macy's on Roosevelt Ave, right outside one of the subway entrances. This is all brand-spanking new , as of 2011. The mall has a enormous food court at the basement, with a huge variety of Chinese/Korean/Japanese/Taiwanese etc food. If you like hot-pot - there are multiple restaurants selling hot-pots! This Mall also has the excellent and huge grocery store J-Mart which is also worth a visit. 5. The Flushing Mall at 13331 39th Ave, Queens, NY. Three blocks from the Main St station. The lower level has the food courts - again, here too some menus are in Chinese only but there are pictures to order by. And you can eat in the mall which is good in summer, avoid the street heat and smell!. The food in this mall's food court is certainly unlike any other shopping mall in the US. And of course, it is a mall so has restrooms - certainly one thing that cannot be found on the street or in the Golden Mall. [Nov 2011] Still worth a visit, though I heard this place might be going away? The only problem - many places in this are of Flushing have menus in Chinese only.
Le Club Sandwich open 24/7. Huge place, cool old fashioned decor.
Near metro Papineau in Montreal at 1570 Ste Catherine St.
Way off the tourist track, but useful to know for late night poutine.
Excellent poutine. Very hearty, thick fries, and they really put on the gravy, which makes it even better.
2788 Broadway (between 107th and 108th St) - near Columbia U / Upper West Side NYC.
Phone: +1-212-932-2052 and +1-212 932-2105
These bagels are the best in New York City and therefore in all of the US. Perfect combination of chewy exterior and light interior. And they taste great too. Of course, people who like their bagels dense and chewy may not appreciate these bagels, but try these once and you might just change your mind. My second choice bagel place in NYC is Russ & Daughters at 179 East Houston Street, near Chinatown. Have tried all the usual other well-known places, but Absolute Bagels has the best bagels.
Mornings - especially weekends, be prepared for long lines. And if you want sesame bagels, arrive a few hours before closing - they may run out. This is important for me since every few months or so I buy a dozen plus eight bagels from NYC to carry back to Boston - really a downer when they run out of bagels. Best to call if you are going to get there late afternoon or evenings.
Unlike Montreal bagels, NYC bagels are pretty big. Which actually may be what allows them to freeze very well. They easily last 3-6 months in the freezer, and thaw out nicely, and still taste great. No need to slice them before freezing too, in fact, they are better off not sliced beforehand. Montreal bagels are good too, but they just don't freeze well - they don't taste as good after a stint in the freezer, have to eat them fresh.
Absolute Bagels Price: $12/dozen bagels (2012). They also have a small seating area, and also offer the usual toppings - cream cheeses, salmon, etc.
From their home page: Biang! Restaurant:
"While Xi'an Famous Foods is great for fast and casual dining, we wanted to present our food in a chic venue with full waiter-service, and that is how Biang! came to be."
41-28 Main St, in the underground Golden Mall, Flushing, Queens, New York.
More info: Flushing's Chinatown.
The 2012 Montréal en Lumière (Montreal High Lights) Festival - visited it the weekend of Feb 18.
It is cold, yet Montrealers find no problem enjoying live shows and music and food out on the streets!
Here's one of the cool shows: A Propos De Stern
It takes something I noticed just this year to a new level. This year I noticed a some buildings in Montreal showing animated pictures projected on the side of buildings.
This specific show is really engrossing. And the props and movement in the images fit very well with the windows on the wall of this building!
In addition to that they had a number of other activities. The program was dedicated to Wallonia-Brussels regions, so they were selling Belgian (French? No!) Fries, with Mayo of course.
Their blurb states: "Among the multitude of attractions, get ready for a mind-blowing new-generation interactive slide, projections and lighting displays redesigning the facades of the surrounding architecture, spectacular video mapping displays on the Maison du Festival Rio Tinto Alcan (3 displays nightly), illuminated musical spectacles, characters in illuminated costumes created especially for the MEL…"
I could not stay for the full festival - on Feb 25, they have a whole night of festival activities! Nuit blanche à Montréal: "Calling all nighthawks and nocturnal friends—Saturday, February 25, 2012 is the date set for the wildest night of the year!"... Maybe next year a US holiday will fall around Nuit blanche so I can make it up here then ... :-)
Just in case some links above stop working, here's the writeup from the High Lights web site:
Small Restaurant KanBai, at 1813 Ste. Catherine St. W. (near St. Mathieu St., Guy Metro). Phone: 514-933-6699
This is an amazing fish dish. Poached fish filet in hot chili soup is what it is called in the menu, basically fish in fiery hot sauce with lots of Sichuan peppercorns, and buried in the bottom layer and not visible in the picture is a layer of sprouts.
Healthy, and hot!
The portion as shown is huge - more than enough for two people. To be eaten with rice. (If one person eats all that, bound to make you feel sick! Starts off great, then the tongue numbs and eating this loses all pleasure.)
As mentioned in the Restaurants & Food Markets - Montréal page, this is a somewhat strange place with Japanese-sounding name and decor, but totally authentic Chinese food. The menu is also not explicit about Sichuan - many dishes are the real thing, not the fake Szechuan Chicken found in North American restaurants. Dishes here contain real hot red and green pepper, with generous amounts of the Sichuan peppercorn. So you have read the descriptions to recognize dishes - for example there is nothing called Dan-Dan noodles, but it is present - just named something like "Noodles with minced pork and hot chilli sauce"!
Picture from the video of a singer in the NYC Subway. More details at Unknown Singer in 59th St Subway NYC
From the Jazz Fest site:
"Systema Solar is a musical and visual collective from Colombia that was created in 2006. Made up of rappers, techno DJs, percussionists and a video artist, they call their shows "Berbenautika", inspired by the "pikos" - large mobile sound systems - and "la verbena" or traditional fiesta popular in Colombia. They aim to project joy and freedom in a time of injustice and political corruption, and to revitalize Afro-Colombian roots music, such as cumbia, champeta, and bellerengue, by mixing in elements of hip hop, house, break beats, scratching and live video. In 2010 they played festivals in the United Kingdom, Denmark, Belgium, Germany and France, which led to a second European tour in 2011. They released a self-titled debut disc in 2010."
Unfortunately, this place closed in 2012.
La Cantine - Bistro Boutique - 212 Mont-Royal Est +1.514.750.9800.
Even at the last bite , the fries stayed crispy.
Small "jar" is for $7.50, with an extra $10 for foie gras (shown in the picture). For me, the foie gras was a bit too much, does not add anything to already excellent poutine. They use sichuan pepper, which adds a nice zing.